IEMA Connect 2021

Environment & Sustainability Professionals' Conference

Thursday 9th December 2021

9:00am - 5:30pm GMT Online

The disconnect created by the pandemic means that it’s more important than ever for our membership to come together to learn, share and connect.

That’s why, on 9th December 2021, we held our first online conference, IEMA Connect 2021.

Featuring practical content from experts and the chance to engage with keynotes, panel discussions and workshops, we explored the hard-hitting discussions on COP26, climate change and more.

Explore this page to find out more and catch up on anything you missed!

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View the agenda and watch the conference again

9:00 - 9:15

Portrait photograph of Sarah Mukherjee MBE
Sarah Mukherjee MBE


9:15 - 9:45

The role of professionals in tackling the sustainability challenge

Ayo called all professionals to take an active role in tackling the sustainability challenge from a holistic perspective discussing their roles as professionals in the workplace, in professional institutions and the wider community.

Portrait photograph of Ayo Sokale
Ayo Sokale

Project Manager at Environment Agency

10:00 - 10:45

Sustainable business transformation in the 2020s

We've reached a tipping point where belatedly many companies are embracing the need to transform sustainably rather than the old paradigm of being a little less bad. But recognition of the need to change is just the beginning of the root and branch transformation we need of the economy and how it serves society. We looked at the drivers, at the change but crucially we focused on how to deliver sustainable transformation. Listeners explored 3 key questions. Do you understand: 1. Why you need to become sustainable? 2. What you need to do to become sustainable? 3. How you integrate sustainability into all you do?

Portrait photograph of Mike Barry
Mike Barry

Director at Mike Barry Eco Limited

11:00 - 11:45

How to reach net zero
Panel Discussion
Portrait photograph of Dr Danielle Stewart
Dr Danielle Stewart

Hydrogen Programme Manager at National Grid

Portrait photograph of Rachel Purdon
Rachel Purdon

Head of Sustainability at RBG Kew

Portrait photograph of Julia Farrington
Julia Farrington

Net Zero Policy and Delivery Manager at Greener NHS Team

Portrait photograph of James Clare
James Clare

Director of Climate Change and Sustainability at UK Ministry of Defence

Portrait photograph of Sarah James
Sarah James

Co Director, Clean Growth at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Portrait photograph of Sarah George
Sarah George

Senior Reporter at

12:00 - 12:30

Breaking down the barriers to build a skilled workforce

Environment and sustainability professionals are the catalyst for organisational level change. Committing your business to environmental and sustainability targets and driving towards net zero requires a competent workforce who are capable of supporting the changes required. Educating and empowering your staff will be key. In this session we looked at the need to drive green skills across all parts of the global economy and broke down some of the perceived barriers to making this happen.

Portrait photograph of Andrew Griffiths
Andrew Griffiths

Head of Value Chain Sustainability at Nestlé UK&I

1:30 - 2:15

Build a skilled workforce to drive positive change
Panel Discussion

During this panel discussion we looked at some of the key benefits of building a skilled workforce. We heard from IEMA Partners who are doing just this. We took a look at how each panellist is addressing the knowledge gap in their business, how we can adapt our approach for fast-moving regulatory content, and how they are maximising green skills to deliver tangible results - both for positive environmental benefits and for organisational behaviour change.

Portrait photograph of Rebecca Harris
Rebecca Harris

Technical Capability Manager at Network Rail

Portrait photograph of Dr Phillip Tamuno
Dr Phillip Tamuno

Head of Sustainability at QMU

Portrait photograph of Lynn Thompson
Lynn Thompson

Managing Director at Charburn

Portrait photograph of Giovanni Nacci
Giovanni Nacci

Environment Head at Qatar Rail

Portrait photograph of Andrew Griffiths
Andrew Griffiths

Head of Value Chain Sustainability at Nestlé UK&I

2:30 - 3:15

Making children and climate change everyone's business - partnering for a purpose with UNICEF

Children are the least responsible for climate change yet bear the greatest burden of its impact. Children are central to sustainable development and key agents of change. Yet, there is low awareness of the links - both positive and negative - between the private sector, children and climate change. This session explored UNICEF's holistic approach to tackle the climate crisis for children, young people and communities with examples of private sector partnerships and further opportunities for engagement.

Portrait photograph of Meghna Das
Meghna Das

Sustainability Lead at UNICEF UK

3:30 - 4:15

Next steps for tackling the global biodiversity challenge following the first part of COP15
Panel Discussion

This session examined what next for the global biodiversity challenge following with the first part of COP15 having taken place in Kunming, China in October. It provided an opportunity to reflect on what was agreed at the initial talks, plus discussion on what more is required at the spring 2022 negotiations.

Portrait photograph of Mark Johnston
Mark Johnston

Strategy Lead for Biodiversity & Nature-based Solution at BP PLC

Portrait photograph of Will Lockhart
Will Lockhart

Joint Head of Defra’s International Environment Negotiations team at DEFRA

Portrait photograph of Chris Southworth
Chris Southworth

Secretary General at ICC United Kingdom

Portrait photograph of Signe Norberg
Signe Norberg

Head of Public Affairs and Communications at Aldersgate Group

4:30 - 5:15

COP26 outcomes and challenges
Panel Discussion

This session looked at whether COP26 fulfilled expectations, how it will stimulate real action to cut emissions and how environmental professionals can take up the baton.

No photo
Dan Hamza-Goodacre

Adviser to the COP26 Unit

Portrait photograph of Zaqiya Cajee
Zaqiya Cajee

Founder & CEO of SwopItUp CIC

Portrait photograph of Prof Dave Reay
Prof Dave Reay

Chair in Carbon Management & Education at University of Edinburgh

Portrait photograph of Isabella Kaminski
Isabella Kaminski


5:15 - 5:30

Closing Comments
Closing Comments
Portrait photograph of Sarah Mukherjee MBE
Sarah Mukherjee MBE


Partner sponsor


Your Future. Our Focus.


Exhibitor sponsor

RRC International

Helping you make work safer and more sustainable

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